Chainsaw massacre all gore, lacks substance

Ryan Haidet

It is August of 1939. An obese woman screams in pain while working at a grungy slaughterhouse in Texas. Suddenly, she is on the ground and a slimy baby comes out of her womb onto the dirty floor – Thomas Hewitt, better known as Leatherface, was born.

Following the success of the 2003 remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, New Line Cinema decided to produce The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning to give fans a look at how Leatherface and his family came to be the heinous murderers they are.

It is now July of 1969, and Leatherface is working at a slaughterhouse – big surprise. The business has been closed down, and he is asked to leave because there is no more work there. His aggressiveness and love of chopping meat can be seen as he slams his blades through the cow’s flesh on the table with extreme intensity. This helps explain why he enjoys butchering humans.

Meanwhile, two couples traveling through Texas together are having some last-minute fun before brothers Dean (Taylor Handley) and Eric (Matthew Bomer) go overseas to fight in the Vietnam War.

Following the distraction of a motorcycle-riding, gun-toting woman, they end up in a bloody car accident when they hit, of all things, a cow.

From here, the terror ensues as the four characters are taken back to the Hewitt household where they are horrendously tortured by the family of cannibals.

The torture scenes are extremely gory and don’t cut away like many horror films.

It seems that the film’s goal wasn’t to frighten, but to gross out.

There are also graphic shots of a chain saw cutting through various appendages as well as many people being bludgeoned by various objects. The bloodshed is everywhere.

It’s hard to feel bad for the victims, though. On countless occasions, the victims are given an easy opportunity to escape.

Instead, they foolishly stick around, and to quote Neve Campbell’s character from Scream, there’s always “some big-breasted girl, who can’t act, who’s always running up the stairs when she should be going out the front door. It’s insulting.”

The acting isn’t all bad, though, as all four of the characters portray genuine and likable people stuck in a horrible situation. This gives the audience somebody to care about.

The best performance, however, comes from R. Lee Ermey’s return as Sheriff Hoyt. After the film explains how he became the town sheriff, he begins his horrific rampage that is more terrifying than the chain-saw-wielding Leatherface.

Ermey’s character is comedically horrifying as he makes every tortuous action disgustingly funny. It’s almost too funny for this type of film as he cracks hilarious dialogue as something horrible flashes across the screen, such as punishing someone who is bleeding, for interrupting prayer at the dinner table.

The similarities between this film and the previous one are countless and sometimes it even feels like the same movie.

With the amount of money it’s already making, the chainsaw may be revving up for the next one, as the ending was left open for the possibility of making another movie.

Although it delivers the gore that horror hounds will enjoy, the scares simply aren’t there.

Contact ALL correspondent Ryan Haidet at [email protected].

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

Starring R. Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley and Diora Baird.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

Distributed by New Line Cinema

Rated R for strong horror violence/gore, language and some sexual content

Stater rating (out of five): ??1/2ΓΏ